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For the record, equity and equality are not the same things. If we are talking true equity, it means giving someone more than you, who has less than you, to elevate them to have the same as you. Are we all really ready to make this selfless sacrifice?

Well, if 2020 has shown us one thing, it is that we are all truly in this together. There is an African quote that says, "The wealth of a family/community is measured by the state of the poorest group/member and not the richest one," meaning we are measured by the level of lack in our society.

In March 2020, I created eat.plank.live—my first podcast. At the time, I had no prior experience in media other than my blog, Pivot Points; my creative creations were relatively limited. For context on how I started on this journey, I work in tech, and pre-COVID-19, I had a long shuttle commute to and from work every day; think one and a half hours one-way on a good day. To pass the time, I would listen to podcasts and fell in love with NPR's "How I Built This" moderated by Guy Raz. If you aren't familiar with the podcast, it's an excellent view of the struggles and ultimate rise of entrepreneurs across several industries.

For many Black professionals, it's an unspoken rule never to discuss race or politics at work. But the murder of George Floyd has opened the floodgates. Suddenly, race is dominating conversations. Black people are being bombarded with questions. They're publicly sharing their pain at company town halls and team meetings, leading to more exhaustion.

Race is an uncomfortable topic to discuss, especially in "mixed company." That's why my market research team at Driven to Succeed sponsored two closed-door, tell-all Community Dialogues via Zoom to talk about race—one with Black professionals and the other with white professionals, from Director to C-Suite plus a few entrepreneurs. Our goal was to build more empathy and understanding and to take steps toward healing to help end institutional racism. There were no right or wrong answers. Just an honest dialogue and diversity of opinions.

Building London Grant Co., a beauty-forward wellness brand, is the last thing that I saw for myself. I'd struggled with skin and weight challenges brought on by hormone imbalances for what felt like an eternity. Years of seeing "I-woke-up-like-this" flawless skin and naturally thin bodies projected in the media impacted the relationship I had with my own body. I thought, "Who am I to tell anyone about clean skincare?" But, after years of taking control of my well-living journey and overcoming those negative body images, I've realized that I'm just the girl for the job.

I didn't seek entrepreneurship in the THC-Free CBD business at first. It was something my partner, who is an addiction physician, nudged me towards while working in corporate America. When the coronavirus hit, we saw our friends and family suffering from anxiety and stress due to job loss, staying at home, lack of exercise, and uncertainty. We knew we had to do something to help, without relying on medication. If you go to a doctor and complain about anxiety, stress or depression, he/she will probably recommend medication as the first line of treatment. They bypass natural remedies, because they don't teach about them in medical school. That is where the problem lies with most people. We identified a problem where doctors did not look at viable alternative treatments and we wanted to change that.

We all have an identity, built over time from what we secretly hold dear. Whether that identity was formed from hurt, pain, joy, tears, or success, it so easily becomes the foundation of who we are. For many years, my identity was clear; I was a London Fashion Week Designer. My life was centered around my career, the success I'd built, and the outlandish goals I'd set out to achieve. I'd become a bit of a robot, immune to adversity, pressing onwards towards the goal no matter what. If someone didn't like me because I was Black, I didn't notice or didn't care. I was a force of determination and skill, and nothing was going to stop me. Or so I thought.

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